Having vindicated the team management's decision to promote him to the number three spot, Sunrisers Hyderabad's young batsman Lokesh Rahul said he was pleased to have played the sheet anchor's role in his side's win against Mumbai Indians in the IPL in Dubai. (MI vs SRH: As it happened)
Rahul played his part, scoring 46 off 40 balls and putting on a 111-run partnership with David Warner (65) for the third wicket on Wednesday. (MI's UAE nightmare ends with five straight losses)
"The team management showed a lot of faith in me by promoting me up the order. They told me that they were planning to send me one-down, although I felt that I have been scoring at a run-a-ball and it is not enough in the T20 format and so I will be pushed further down the line-up. But the coach told me it is okay for me to play my game and take my time," Lokesh said. (Chat with mentor Laxman helped me perform: Irfan Pathan)
"He said batting at No.3 my role would be to rotate the strike and help the team lay a solid foundation so that people like Warner and Sammy can build on it. I am glad I could do that today.
"In the last couple of games, I got 20s and 30s and threw my wicket away, which wasn't helping the team. I was sent higher up the order so that I have more time to pace my innings," the 22-year-old was quoted as saying by IPL's official website.
He said it was thrilling to watch Warner from the other end. "It's thrilling! I would sit at home and watch the Ashes, I watched the Australia-South Africa series where he demolished the Proteas. I hoped some day I could bat like him and today I got a chance to build this partnership with him in a very crucial game.
"For a youngster like me there's so much to learn. In the training, it's different. It's in a real match, you get to learn how players like him plan their game, target the bowlers and what runs in their mind."